If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

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scratch123
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If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby scratch123 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:15 pm UTC

...does that mean you fully understand it? This assumes that everything that exists can be broken down into 0's and 1's. The way you would do this is to take the object you wish to break down into 0's and 1's and break it down into smaller objects. Then check to see if any of these objects can be in more than 2 states. If the object can be in more than 2 states but you are not sure how many repeat the process of breaking the new objects down into smaller objects. For example say the object you want to break down to 0's and 1's is a 4 letter word. First you would break it down into 4 letters. Then you would have to know that letters have 26 states that they can be in so you would need to devote 5 0's and 1's (or bits, 2^5 = 32 which is more than enough). You can do this for physical objects too. Just break them down into parts until you get to the atoms that make up the object and since these atoms can be in more than 2 states you can break them up to get sub atomic particles which only have a few states. In addition to breaking up words according to the letters that make them up you could also break them up according to their meaning but I am not sure exactly how you would do this. Another way would be to take a dictionary and assign each word a number a break the words up that way and completely ignore the letters. If you are able to do this for everything that exists does that mean you fully understand it? There is also the problem that things can be broken up more than one way. I guess you could solve this by taking the method for breaking up objects itself and breaking it up into 0's and 1's.

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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby DSenette » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:55 pm UTC

scratch123 wrote:...does that mean you fully understand it? This assumes that everything that exists can be broken down into 0's and 1's. The way you would do this is to take the object you wish to break down into 0's and 1's and break it down into smaller objects. Then check to see if any of these objects can be in more than 2 states. If the object can be in more than 2 states but you are not sure how many repeat the process of breaking the new objects down into smaller objects. For example say the object you want to break down to 0's and 1's is a 4 letter word. First you would break it down into 4 letters. Then you would have to know that letters have 26 states that they can be in so you would need to devote 5 0's and 1's (or bits, 2^5 = 32 which is more than enough). You can do this for physical objects too. Just break them down into parts until you get to the atoms that make up the object and since these atoms can be in more than 2 states you can break them up to get sub atomic particles which only have a few states. In addition to breaking up words according to the letters that make them up you could also break them up according to their meaning but I am not sure exactly how you would do this. Another way would be to take a dictionary and assign each word a number a break the words up that way and completely ignore the letters. If you are able to do this for everything that exists does that mean you fully understand it? There is also the problem that things can be broken up more than one way. I guess you could solve this by taking the method for breaking up objects itself and breaking it up into 0's and 1's.

what do you break a 1 and 0 into?
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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby pseudoidiot » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:06 pm UTC

0 and 1, respectively.
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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby You, sir, name? » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:09 pm UTC

You could also break it into and 1.
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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby Ptolom » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:14 pm UTC

Werner Heisenberg would like to spoil your fun.

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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby softchews » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:17 pm UTC

Is this not like the Auditors in the Terry Pratchett book Thief of Time, who take a picture apart into its component molecules to try and find out what makes it 'art'? Surely the whole is greater then just the sum of its parts (in physical objects at least anyway).

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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby NuclearTide » Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:00 am UTC

-
Last edited by NuclearTide on Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:51 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby Weeks » Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:36 am UTC

Ptolom wrote:Werner Heisenberg would like to spoil your fun.
What? Why? We have just begun!
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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby Menacing Spike » Sat Jul 30, 2011 3:30 pm UTC

Define understand?

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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby Soralin » Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:31 pm UTC

Menacing Spike wrote:Define understand?

01110101011011100110010001100101011100100111001101110100011000010110111001100100

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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby Menacing Spike » Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:49 pm UTC

Soralin wrote:
Menacing Spike wrote:Define understand?

01110101011011100110010001100101011100100111001101110100011000010110111001100100


01110100 01101111 01110101 01100011 01101000 11101001

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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby Kewangji » Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:56 pm UTC

01001001 00100000 01110011 01100101 01100101 00100000 01110111 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01111001 00100111 01100001 01101100 01101100 00100000 01100100 01101001 01100100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 01110010 01100101 :l
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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby eternauta3k » Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:02 pm UTC

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That's right, slash your emo-wrists and spill all your emo-globin

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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Jul 31, 2011 3:13 am UTC

scratch123 wrote:...does that mean you fully understand it? This assumes that everything that exists can be broken down into 0's and 1's. The way you would do this is to take the object you wish to break down into 0's and 1's and break it down into smaller objects. Then check to see if any of these objects can be in more than 2 states. If the object can be in more than 2 states but you are not sure how many repeat the process of breaking the new objects down into smaller objects. For example say the object you want to break down to 0's and 1's is a 4 letter word. First you would break it down into 4 letters. Then you would have to know that letters have 26 states that they can be in so you would need to devote 5 0's and 1's (or bits, 2^5 = 32 which is more than enough).

1000011011000100001101110010000110100001000011100000100001110100110000111000111000011011100100001101010010000110100011000011100001

That's the Unicode representation of a random word I pulled from the featured article on ka.wikipedia.org. But I don't understand anything in Kartuli. Didn't even know that "Kartuli" (which I've never heard of) was the name of the thing I was looking at until I saw the hover text on a link.

scratch123 wrote:In addition to breaking up words according to the letters that make them up you could also break them up according to their meaning but I am not sure exactly how you would do this.

How could you classify a word by its meaning unless you already understood the word?
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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby modularblues » Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:16 am UTC

Weeks wrote:
Ptolom wrote:Werner Heisenberg would like to spoil your fun.
What? Why? We have just begun!

Schrödinger as well. And Ben Schumacher's qubit.

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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby Weeks » Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:30 pm UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:You could also break it into and 1.
Ptolom wrote:Werner Heisenberg would like to spoil your fun.
Weeks wrote:What? Why? We have just begun!
your turn
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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby Menacing Spike » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:43 pm UTC

Weeks wrote:your turn


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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby userxp » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:33 pm UTC

scratch123 wrote:If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's does that mean you fully understand it?

For most definitions of understand, no.

scratch123 wrote:In addition to breaking up words according to the letters that make them up you could also break them up according to their meaning but I am not sure exactly how you would do this.

Oh that would be very difficult, since words don't inherently have meanings. You could try to define meaning(word, person) as "the things that are linked to that word in that person's brain", then apply that definition for every person that exists and take some sort of average. You may want to read more about words as hidden inferences.

Anyway, I'm not sure that thread is in the right forum.

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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby PM 2Ring » Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:18 pm UTC

scratch123 wrote:...does that mean you fully understand it? .

Not at all. It merely means that you can represent it, which is quite a different thing. Of course, representations can be useful in understanding. However, if your string of bits is not finite (and can't be described in a finite way), or cannot be derived in a finite time, it is of limited utility.

FWIW, there are various threads in the Computer Science forum that touch on this topic.

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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby Turtlewing » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:59 pm UTC

If I understand the OP correctly the question can be rephrased as: "Is it possible to create a perfect simulation of a system without fully understanding that system?"

Which I would be inclined to say is probably technically possible (by accident), but since you'd never be able to know that your simulation was perfect without perfect understanding of the molded system, for practical purposes it would not be possible to build a perfect simulation without perfect understanding of the simulated system.

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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:51 pm UTC

Turtlewing wrote:you'd never be able to know that your simulation was perfect without perfect understanding of the molded system

Hardly. To return to my language example, I can produce a perfect copy of a book in Kartuli without being able to read it (this is basically a boring version of the Chinese Room Argument). More generally, if a system has one set of properties, A, and at least one other set of properties, B, that supervenes on A, I can reproduce the system by copying A without understanding B.
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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby doogly » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:40 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote: the Chinese Room Argument

Worst argument ever.
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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby Shivahn » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:21 am UTC

I dunno, man. I've taken some philosophy courses. That one has fierce competition.

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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby Menacing Spike » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:22 am UTC

Shivahn wrote:philosophy courses


Bahaha :p.

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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby phlip » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:39 am UTC

Shivahn wrote:I dunno, man. I've taken some philosophy courses. That one has fierce competition.

Hmm, someone needs to start a bestthing-style poll, for bad philosophical arguments...

Which is worse? The Chinese Room argument, or Pascal's Wager?

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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby Adam H » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:12 pm UTC

That reminds me of when I was forced to spend time with that insufferable kid in high school that thought she was smart because she asked a lot of annoying questions and got good grades (you know who I'm talking about). We started talking about computers and I said something like, "man I want to know how you first start programming a computer. Like how do you get it to understand an upper level programing language." Her response was to look at me like I was stupid and say "It's 1's and 0's. Binary." Me: "yes I know that, but how does the computer know what the 1's and 0's mean?" Her: "1 means yes, 0 means no. It's binary."

Sigh... thank you, insufferable know-it-all for that extremely unhelpful and condescending answer. :P
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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby doogly » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:24 pm UTC

phlip wrote: Pascal's Wager?

People don't sincerely trot that one out in the company of adults anymore though, do they?
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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby Kewangji » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:04 pm UTC

doogly wrote:
phlip wrote: Pascal's Wager?

People don't sincerely trot that one out in the company of adults anymore though, do they?

They do. All the time. They think it's killer.
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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby doogly » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:07 pm UTC

Well, on the plus side, I would feel justified straight up slappin em, and that gives me a nice feeling of just having slapped someone. The most I can really be justified doing with the chinese room is rolling my eyes and groaning, which is a lot less satisfying.

...this isn't working, I will agree that Pascal is the worst ever.
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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby Kewangji » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:13 pm UTC

Isn't the ontological argument worse?
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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby doogly » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:35 pm UTC

Nah, Pascal's wager requires you to have never heard of an gods other than your god. That seems extremely inexcusable now that we have discovered other continents and shit.
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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby Kewangji » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:39 pm UTC

But… people make the argument still, even after having heard of other gods? It just requires you to dismiss all those other ones.
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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby Weeks » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:11 pm UTC

Fuck Pascal, he convinced me into agnosticism.


And that's terrible.
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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby Kewangji » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:36 am UTC

Agnostia is a harsh mistress ._.
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Re: If you can reduce something to 0's and 1's...

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:33 am UTC

doogly wrote:Nah, Pascal's wager requires you to have never heard of an gods other than your god. That seems extremely inexcusable now that we have discovered other continents and shit.

Yeah, I'd say Pascal's Wager is the worse for how easy it is to point out what's wrong with it. The ontological argument seems obviously wrong, but it's (notoriously) much harder to say why.
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